Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Oriental Medicine and Sterility

From the very beginning of the Scriptures, in Genesis, we are told of God's desire that we are to propagate. The culture of life column in the Peace Weekly, written by a doctor of oriental medicine and a member of the Seoul Catholic Committee for Life, reflects on the problem that one out of five Korean couples desiring children are sterile.  

Many of these couples, after an examination that finds no medical reason for the infertility, will decide for artificial insemination. However, there are problems with this method. According to the doctor the method is used without first trying  to find the cause of the infertility, and solving the problem artificially sometimes results in failure, and often in multiple births. The health of the prospective mother, during this period of attempts to conceive and the repeated failures, is a serious concern for all involved in the use of this artificial solution to the problem, says the doctor.

Oriental  medicine, relying heavily on herbal preparations, looks for the causes of the problem, with the intention of bringing about conception naturally. It looks on sterility differently than Western medicine. Instead of describing the condition negatively as sterility, with the implication that it may be a permanent condition, oriental medicine prefers to describe it simply just as the woman is experiencing it: difficulty in conceiving.   

When a woman is not able to conceive they consider there is something not functioning properly in her body, even though the exams of Western medicine will find nothing wrong. The  doctor mentions that when a pregnant woman comes to him for consultation, he tells her that her womb will be the room for the baby for ten months, (Korean calculation)  and he will be trying to make it a place the baby will find congenial and will enjoy. 
This is the strong point of oriental medicine: it does not rely on the artificial means of fertilization in vitro to correct the problem, but is interested in using natural means to get the body to a condition where conception occurs naturally. Recently, even those who are following the Western procedures often come for natural medicines prescribed by the herb doctors.  
He ends the article by saying it is not only the women who may have the problem but the men may also share the responsibility for the 'difficulty in conceiving.' 

The TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) approach to restoring health is more philosophical and holistic than the scientific and logical approach of the West. The two approaches, when working together, will have a great deal to add to the world of medicine.

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